Local instructor offers swimming safety advice | Health
Nine years ago, Kelly Rucker was a single mom living in downtown Houston. And she worried that her 1-year-old daughter, Peyton, would have immediate access to water whenever she was with her father for visits.
âI knew she needed survival training as soon as possible, but I was shocked at the few options available in downtown Houston,â Rucker said. âI spent seven weeks, four days a week, doing an hour and a half round trip each day training my daughter. Watching the training sparked a passion in me and I became interested in becoming an instructor.
A few years ago, Rucker lived in Oak Forest, where the availability of classes for children in his area was still limited.
âI decided to take a leap of faith and get certified as an instructor by one of my daughter’s former instructors who had since helped found the Survival Swim Development Network,â she said. declared.
The non-profit organization is dedicated to training instructors to teach infants 6 months and older as well as older children swimming, swimming lessons and survival skills.
âSince my certification, I have enjoyed training children in the communities of the GOOF / Heights area with these lifesaving skills,â said Rucker. “I am also a member of Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning, which offers a wealth of online resources on drowning prevention.”
With the arrival of summer, Rucker wants to warn parents that life jackets, puddle jumpers and other vertical flotation devices are not learning to swim devices.
“These devices teach orientation in water that would sink a child if the device was not present,” she said. âBy wearing these devices, children develop a false confidence in their ability to swim. “
Rucker said adult supervision is an essential, consistent layer of protection that is needed when children are swimming in and around water. She warns that this watch tends to slip when parents perceive that their children are safe alone in the water.
“Flotation devices should be reserved only for use in bodies of water in which you cannot see and which do not have defined edges that can be grasped,” she said. âAsk yourself, ‘How would my child be doing if he got into a pool without a flotation device and unsupervised? “”
Rucker also cautions against encouraging unskilled children to jump into the pool and then praising and cheering them on when they jump.
âNo one stops to ask the question, ‘What would my child do if he jumped in the pool and no one was there to catch him?’ She said.
During Rucker’s lessons, which she says use gentle, child-centered methods, the emphasis is on the horizontal orientation of the head and body which changes to a technical freestyle with side breathing when development is appropriate.
âThere is also an emphasis on students knowing how to calmly secure a dorsal float independent of any given scenario that may arise during a recreational swim or an accidental or unexpected fall,â she said.
According to Rucker, a parent’s goal should be to teach their child a healthy respect for water as well as the skills to deal with unexpected scenarios before they learn to have fun in the water. ‘water.
“Drowning is the number one killer of children aged 1 to 4,” she said. âSeveral layers of protection will help keep your child safe. “
For more information visit http://www.survivalswim.net/ and https://www.parentspreventingchildhooddrowning.com/ or contact Rucker at 832-857-0010.
Swimming safety tips
â¢ A permanent water supervisor (an adult free from the influence of drugs or alcohol and without any distractions – including cell phones other than when used for emergencies)
â¢ Survival training
â¢ Pool fence
â¢ Door locks
â¢ Door alarms
â¢ CPR training
â¢ Address signs in the yard to remind you to call 911 for emergency help